Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas meets Israeli delegation in Ramallah, May 17, 2016.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Sakhnin Mayor Mazen Ganaim, head of the National Committee of Arab Heads of Municipal Authorities, told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday that he welcomes the meeting Israeli municipality heads had the previous day with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and plans to hold future meetings “to promote peace.”
On Tuesday Abbas met in his headquarters in Ramallah with the visiting delegation and addressed the appointment of Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman as defense minister, saying, “We do not judge people by their political affiliation but according to their position on the peace process,” Channel 10 reported.
“We want all Israelis to believe in peace with the Palestinian people.... We know that the Right has proved in the past that it knows how to make peace.”
The meeting was initiated by the mayor of Ma’alot-Tarshiha, Shlomo Bohbot.
Ganaim was not at the meeting and did not know which Arab municipality heads attended, though he said he would be part of future delegations of Arab municipality heads and mayors to discuss the peace process with Abbas.
“This is smart.... We will do anything to promote peace,” he added.
Zidan Kaabiya, the head of the Forum of Northern Beduin Council, who met with Abbas during Ramadan last summer, told the Post he has no idea who went to the meeting, but that “these days everyone goes and meets him and then gets press about it.”
Kaabiya said that in recent days he has had meetings with people close to the Palestinian leader and plans on setting up a future meeting made up of a high-level delegation of Arab and Jewish municipality heads.
Asked if these meetings are fruitful, he responded, “I am not sure if they help, but they don’t hurt. I hope something happens. We need to keep the dialogue going.”